RPO & StaffingTalent Acquisition

Getting Ahead of the Curve

Match the tech to the job seeker’s expectations.
By Madeline Laurano
Over the past decade, despite high unemployment, people with critical skills remain hard to find. That’s why the process of identifying and attracting talent is still a critical business objective.

Despite this, a majority of organizations have failed to mature in their recruitment efforts and rely on the same-old antiquated processes and technology solutions. In fact, according to research Aberdeen conducted in 2013, organizations are even regressing in their talent acquisition efforts — 57 percent have a reactionary process in place compared to only 44 percent of respondents in 2012. The problem here is that a reactionary process is an ad-hoc, short-term solution that is not a continuous, long-term strategy.

Today’s workforce has different expectations of how companies will contact them and build a relationship with them, especially those with the critical skills organizations need. If talent acquisition does not keep pace, organizations will not only lose qualified candidates but also will jeopardize organizational growth and performance. In order to gain competitive advantage, organizations must consider adopting a new approach that focuses less on “filling positions” quickly and more on aligning with the business.

Below are a few areas to consider:

Build talent communities. For most organizations, a talent community is a database of active and passive candidates that receives email alerts about job opportunities. It’s a simple idea, and it’s catching on: Talent communities are one of the fastest growing areas of talent acquisition, with 78 percent of organizations currently investing or planning to make an investment over the next 12 months.

Leading organizations distinguish themselves by their ability to engage candidates through these communities and create a stronger employer brand in the process. In order for a talent community to be successful, talent-acquisition professionals must continually build relationships with talent and report on the effectiveness of these efforts to the business. Organizations need to engage talent in these communities through conversations in order to create relationships. While many organizations will use their corporate career pages to invite candidates to these communities, best-in-class organizations also use social media and innovative technology (like Findly, Brazen Careerists and Smashfly) to extend talent communities to a broader audience of employees, alumni, and key stakeholders.

Identify critical roles. In any organization, there are critical roles responsible for driving revenue, performance, and client outcomes. Although these roles have an immediate impact on achieving higher levels of business performance, managers often feel challenged identifying these roles and matching employee strengths to these roles.
Sixty-three percent of best-in-class organizations are able to identify these critical job roles compared to 44 percent of “all others.” Best-in-class organizations achieve this goal through the use of assessments as a way to present a clear picture of the skills, behaviors, and competencies required to drive success in these critical roles. Assessments are a major element of talent acquisition and are no longer just a luxury for large organizations. They might include behavioral, competency-based, or personality assessments.

Define metrics for success. When determining the most critical metrics for evaluating the effectiveness of talent acquisition efforts, best-in-class organizations favor quality of hire and hiring manager satisfaction over time to fill and cost per hire. By understanding how these metrics are defined and evaluating them consistently, organizations are better able to align talent acquisition with corporate objectives.

Quality of hire ensures that recruiters are more accountable for the performance of the hire once they are onboard instead of simply handing them over to hiring managers. Hiring manager satisfaction indicates that new hires meet performance goals and are the “right fit.”

Although these metrics are a priority for many organizations, determining the key criteria used to measure quality of hire and hiring manager satisfaction is no small task. In fact, only 20 percent of organizations have a clear understanding of how quality of hire is measured. When asked to measure hiring-manager satisfaction, most organizations do this through survey results, which can be ineffectual. In fact, many hiring managers don’t participate or are not open with their feedback. Stronger communication and a standard on how to measure this will help it have a greater impact.

Rethink your technology. Video is one of the most powerful talent acquisition tools for improving processes and creating a positive candidate experience. In fact, 31 percent of organizations participating in Aberdeen’s talent acquisition research are investing in video interviewing, compared to 21 percent of organizations in 2012.

There are several products in the marketplace that allow organizations to interview potential candidates via digitial technology on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. Video interviewing has redefined how organizations engage with candidates—interviews can be done live or via a set of pre-recorded questions. This provides companies with the ability to extend their reach to a broader, far-flung talent pool and improve visibility into the recruitment process since all hiring managers can access and assess a recorded interview.
As organizations look to revamp their recruitment strategies and technology options, video interviewing is becoming a “must-have.”
Madeline Laurano is Aberdeen Group’s research director for talent acquisition solutions. She can be reached at madeline.laurano@aberdeen.com.

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